Exhibition to chart history of Happisburgh

PUBLISHED: 11:51 02 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:51 02 August 2014

Mary Trett

Mary Trett


An extensive exhibition is taking place charting the history and changing appearance of a north Norfolk coastal village

The event, centred on Happisburgh, will mainly use material bequeathed to the Happisburgh Heritage Group by Mary Trett, who died in October last year.

The material includes photographs, maps and documents, all relating to the history of the village.

Jan Newall, from the heritage group which is organising the exhibition, said: “There are old postcards and pictures of the village and some of the documents include old maps and some proposed developments which never happened, like plans for a holiday village.”

Miss Trett played a major role in preserving and recording the unique history of the north Norfolk coastal village where she was born, lived and died.

She co-wrote The Book of Happisburgh, with Dr Richard Hoggett, then coastal heritage officer with Norfolk County Council’s historic environment service.

The work, acknowledged as the first scholarly published history of the village, drew extensively on Miss Trett’s collections.

She was also a mainstay at Happisburgh’s St Mary’s Church and a well-loved and respected member of the close village community.

Miss Trett was the only child of Esther and Bert Trett – a cabinet maker and undertaker – and she lived all her life in the same house, close to the church.

The young Mary took a keen interest in the past and would scour Happisburgh beach looking for fossils or Roman pottery. After training as an art teacher in Norwich, she taught at Notre Dame School in the city.

The Book of Happisburgh was a part of North Norfolk District Council’s coastal heritage project, using money from the government’s Pathfinder pot aimed at helping communities on erosion-threatened coastlines adapt to change.

The exhibition will take place in the Wenn Evans Centre in the village over the weekend of August 9 and 10 from 12.30pm-4.30pm each day.

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